You always have to be on the lookout for the “October surprise” in presidential election cycles. If you recall, back in 2012 the unemployment rate took an incredible dive to 5 percent right before the election.
As well, we clearly know the lies and false narratives created and promulgated regarding the Islamic jihadist attack in Benghazi. You could have bet your last dollar that had it been a Republican president and Benghazi had occurred, they would have been forced to step down from running for reelection. They certainly would have been pummeled so badly by the liberal media that reelection would have been impossible. Instead, Candy Crowley of CNN injected herself into a presidential debate — again disseminating false information.
So, what could possibly be the coming surprise from the Obama administration in an attempt to get Hillary Clinton over the hump?
As reported by the Washington Times, “Some U.S. officers in Baghdad believe the Obama administration is rushing plans for a Mosul offensive so it takes place before the November presidential election, a retired general says.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero said his contacts in Baghdad have relayed the concerns to him, fearing there is now an “artificial timeline” for what promises to be by far the toughest battle in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq. Iraqi Security Forces, which has made strides since the U.S.-led coalition began retraining its troops, may not be sufficiently prepared for a rushed operation.
The troops face the monumental task of capturing a city of almost 2 million citizens and up to 10,000 Islamic State fighters and their booby traps.
“There is tremendous concern that Washington is going to press for a Mosul operation to commence before the November election,” Mr. Barbero told The Washington Times. “The concern is, will the conditions be set on the ground by then, and I don’t think so.”
Asked about the view that the White House is pushing an early offensive, Mr. Barbero answered, “Yeah. I’m hearing that from Baghdad.” “If you look at the track record, that is not unbelievable,” he said. “It’s an artificial timeline, especially before the election.”
I personally know LTG (Ret) Barbero as he was the assistant division commander of the 4th Infantry during my tenure as a battalion commander…and I would NEVER abandon my men to die in a combat zone and lie about it — to save my own arse. But, I digress.
LTG (Ret) Barbero was also the commander of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). LTG Barbero is well acquainted with the Iraq combat theater of operations, along with the influence of the Iranian made EFPs (explosive force penetrators). Therefore, you can take his words to the bank.
And so it is, after almost two whole years, the Obama administration is going to conduct an operation in Mosul. First of all, why now? Secondly, what resources are going to be available to set the conditions for a ground combat success and engagement? I’m not going to ask about how many troops; that’s determined by military planners.
What I will ask is a simple question, what are the strategic and operational objectives for this operation? And as LTG Barbero articulates, what is the execution timeline, is it viable, or just vanilla? If there’s something alarming to those of us who’ve served or serving, it’s mission creep. It’s the incessant drip, drip of forces into a combat zone without any clear guidance and objectives.
Heck, what is the command and control structure in Iraq? As a matter of fact, we shared a concern about the amount of general officers in Iraq with y’all.
If President Obama decides to pursue this path — which I really believe he doesn’t want — it will represent, once again, the facade of taking action…when there is really no desired result, other than political optics.
Consider how often Obama comes out and states to the American people we are sending 100 troops, 200 troops, 50 special operators, or the most recent 560 troops. And what amazes me is the lack of journalistic integrity emanating from the media to ask the simple question — for what?
Furthermore, you have to ask, if the very restrictive rules of engagement remain in place, how will there be success against ISIS in Mosul? And what is truly imbecilic, is that here we are talking about this happening sometime before November — talk about telegraphing your intentions. Then again, this provides Obama some plausible deniability upon failure, to say the enemy was too well entrenched and the Iraqi forces weren’t ready. If you recall, when his “training the Syrian rebels” strategy failed, it was Obama who came out and admitted it was a course of action he didn’t want to take — he was forced into it. Amazing.
“An offensive less than four months from now would help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton dispute Republican charges that the Obama administration is letting the Islamic State run a global terrorism operation. Some Republicans argue that more American boots should on the ground for the fight. The administration and Iraqi leaders want the offensive completed, or nearly so, before Mr. Obama leaves office in January, which would allow him to claim U.S. victory in the second war for Iraq.
The top U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said the command is trying to accelerate the timeline for military, not political, reasons. “I am not aware of any influence like that on the timeline for Mosul operations. We are supporting the Iraqi Security Forces and their timeline,” Army Col. Christopher Garver told The Times. “We will do what we can to help the Iraqis make that happen.”
Yeah right Col. Garver, you can try and sell that line of bovine excrement somewhere else. This is all about politics and you can rest assured that one Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to be sworn in with Obama’s national security and foreign policy failures facing her.
However, if anyone believes that eradicating ISIS from Mosul is going to happen between now and January, you’ve been to Colorado and smoked something altering your thinking ability. The far left anti-war folks would go nuts if a major combat operation was enjoined. And a very tentative Barack Obama, who would try to control such an operation from the White House — well, actually it would be Valerie Jarrett running the operation — is too fearful to begin such an endeavor. And not too many allies trust him.
If you want to get an idea of what a retaking of Mosul would look like, study the Battle of Hue City in Vietnam. We’re talking about major urban combat, and the ratio for success in an offensive operation is 3:1 against the enemy – that’s just the numbers for ground combat assault troops. Hey, maybe Obama can try out his new female Rangers, and women in combat unit formations. Yeah, he could REALLY solidify his legacy — NOT! Ok, that was my ounce of sarcasm.
Do I believe Obama wants to rush an operation in Mosul for political purposes? Yes. Do I believe he will actually do so? Probably not…and if it looks like Donald Trump is leading going into September, absolutely not.
Obama would rather leave a mess if Trump is the next president, than clean the deck. Furthermore, Obama cares only about Obama, and in the end, that drives his policy. He’s never shown an ability to confront the enemy…”red lines” anyone? The bottom line is that Obama made a strategic error and blunder all over a campaign political promise and withdrew all troops from Iraq. Obama obfuscated and denied the rise of ISIS, and now, in true slick form, he will find a way to blame others…gun control, Bush, Republicans.
So, the next president WILL inherit Obama’s failures, and that is a very full suitcase.